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Faculty and Provisional Programme

Faculty of the School of Public Leadership, and specifically from the postgraduate Sustainable Development programme, of Stellenbosch University, and the Sustainability Institute, are responsible for the academic aspects of ISDRC19.

School of Public Leadership (
The structured, trans-disciplinary postgraduate programme in Sustainable Development has been jointly designed and developed by the School of Public Leadership (SPL) and the Sustainability Institute. Four streams, or specialisations, are available: Sustainable Development, Sustainable Development Planning, Managing Sustainable Agriculture for Development, and Renewable and Sustainable Energy. The latter is offered in collaboration with the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies ( in the Faculty of Engineering.
The main aim of the programme is to provide participants with an understanding and practical experience of the wide ranging contextual, conceptual and thematic issues involved in the planning, management and practice of sustainable development throughout the world. As the various global social and environmental crises deepen, a new generation is rising up into leadership positions in the public, private and non-profit sectors that are required to possess a broad transdisciplinary understanding of the various dimensions of these crises and related solutions. This integrated Masters and transdisciplinary PhD programme (, aims to equip these people with the knowledge, experience and skills they will need if they are to grow and develop within this new field of career development.

Sustainability Institute (
The Sustainability Institute is an international living and learning centre located outside Stellenbosch. Surrounded by the breath taking beauty of the Cape’s towering mountains and rooted in an agricultural community needing to break free from its’ racial past, the Sustainability Institute provides a space for people to explore an approach to creating a more equitable society that lives in a way that sustains rather than destroys the eco-system within which all society is embedded.
The Sustainability Institute forms part of the wider Lynedoch Eco-Village. This is an emerging ecologically designed, socially-mixed community built around a learning precinct, the heart of which is the Lynedoch pre- and Primary School attended by 450 children who come mainly from the families of farmworkers. This emerging community offers a unique African setting where creative work and learning can be inspired by the joys and challenges of sustainability in practice.
Founded in 1999, the Sustainability Institute provides residential accommodation for visiting writers, artists, activists, volunteers and scholars, and a learning space for participants in the Institute’s various educational programmes.


Alan Brent holds bachelor degrees in engineering (chemical) and philosophy (sustainable development); master degrees in science (environmental engineering), engineering (technology management), and philosophy (sustainable development); and a PhD in engineering management. Since 1995 he consulted to a variety of industry and public sectors in South Africa and other developing countries in the fields of environmental engineering and management; his research focus now revolves around sustainable technology management. Currently he is appointed as a professor in the Sustainable Development programme of the School of Public Leadership (SPL) in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, and he is also the associate director of the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES), which is based in the Faculty of Engineering, of Stellenbosch University.


Frank Geels is Professor of System Innovation and Sustainability at the Sustainable Consumption Institute, at the University of Manchester. Geels is chairman of the international Sustainability Transitions Research Network (, and one of the world-leading scholars on socio-technical transitions, which entail co-evolutionary interactions between technology, consumer practices, firms, markets, policy, cultural meaning, and infrastructure. Shifts to new transport/energy/agri-food systems are necessary to achieve large sustainability gains in the coming decades (e.g. factor-10 reductions in environmental burden). Geels has published six books on socio-technical transitions and more than forty peer-reviewed articles. He is particularly well-known for this conceptual and empirical work on the Multi-Level Perspective (MLP) and Strategic Niche Management (SNM).


Gunter Pauli has been a visiting lecturer and professor at universities on all continents, and Member of the Board of NGOs and private companies in Asia, USA and Latin America. He is a Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences (San Francisco, USA), a creative Member of the Club of Budapest (Hungary), Member of the Club of Rome, moderated the Roundtable of Nobel Science Laureates hosted by HM King of Jordan State, and obtained a Doctorate from the Italian Government in systems design. He has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Pécs, Hungary. He has published 19 books (written 15 – edited 4), which have been printed in over 30 languages and 36 fables bringing science and emotions to children. Over 17 million copies have been distributed worldwide.


Edgar Pieterse is holder of the NRF South African Research Chair in Urban Policy. He directs the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town ( He is a founder member of Isandla Institute, serves on the Boards of Magnet Theatre, the Sustainability Institute and the Cape Town Partnership; and also serves on the Council of the University of the Western Cape. He is appointed as an extraordinary professor in the School of Public Leadership at Stellenbosch University. He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics, an MA in Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies (The Hague, The Netherlands) and a BA-Honours from the University of the Western Cape.


Kevin Chika Urama holds a bachelors degree in agriculture, masters degrees in science and philosophy, and PhD from the University of Cambridge.  He is an environmental and ecological economist developing transdisciplinary and integrated tools for sustainable management of social, economic and ecological systems. He serves on the boards of many international organisations, scientific panels and research programmes, including: the High-Level Panel on Global Assessment of Resources for implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020; the International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management (as Chair of the Water Working Group); the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as Lead Author of the IPCC SRREN report, and Lead Author/Core Writing Team member of IPCC AR5 report; and the OECD Task Force of Green Growth and Poverty Reduction. He is the current chair of the Open Society Foundation’s Africa Climate Change Adaptation Initiative (ACCAI) Reference Group, and member of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for the Bioresources Innovations Network for Eastern Africa Development.  He is a member of the Editorial (Advisory) Boards of many international journals, including: Science and Public Policy; Ecological Economics; and Environmental Policy and Governance. He is also an extraordinary professor in the School of Public Leadership of Stellenbosch University.



Sunday, 30 June 2013
17h00 Opening Function (a taste of organic wines), Spier Conference Centre
Monday, 01 July 2013
08h00 Registration and coffee
Opening ceremony
09h00 Welcoming address, Chair of the conference
09h15 Welcoming address, Rector of Stellenbosch University
09h30 Opening address, Premier of the Western Cape Province
10h00 Opening address, Minister of Environmental Affairs
10h30 Opening address, UNEP
11h00 Coffee break
Plenary session
11h30 Keynote address (views from the north)
12h15 Keynote address (views from the south)
13h00 Lunch
Parallel sessions
14h00 Oral papers
15h30 Coffee break
16h00 Oral papers
Networking function and poster session
17h30 Poster papers (with a taste of local produce)
Tuesday, 02 July 2013
08h00 Registration and coffee
Plenary session
09h00 Keynote address (a global perspective)
09h45 Keynote address (an African perspective)
10h30 Coffee break
Parallel sessions
11h00 Oral papers
13h00 Lunch
Parallel sessions
14h00 Oral papers
15h30 Coffee
Parallel sessions
16h00 Oral papers
17h30 Refreshing and networking
19h00 Conference dinner
Wednesday, 03 July 2013
08h00 Registration and coffee
Parallel sessions
09h00 Oral papers
11h00 Coffee break
Plenary session
11h30 Keynote address (an African vision for transition)
12h15 Keynote address (a future of transitions)
13h00 Conference close
14h00 Depart for various tours